Story and Photo Courtesy of, Golfing Union of Ireland
Rhys Pugh, the 18 year old East Tennessee State University student from Wales has captured the Chartis Europe sponsored European Amateur Championship at Carton House Golf Club.
On a day when the Montgomerie designed golf course showed its teeth, it was the young Welshman that battled the course, and the wind, to lift the most coveted stroke play event in the world for amateur golfers.
Having started the day eight shots off the lead, a closing round of 66 propelled him to the top of the leader board with nine groups left on course.
A nervy 90 minute wait ensued, and with word filtering through to the clubhouse that Pugh’s Welsh teammate, James Frazer had left a putt hanging over the edge of the hole on 18, which would have forced a play-off, Pugh began to let it sink in that he was the European Amateur Champion for 2012.
"I always thought I could do it. I really like the golf course, it sort of suits me. It's quite long and I've been hitting it a bit further lately. I thought I'd have to shoot 63, 62 to have a chance but it was a little bit windy so it was tougher".